Category / Issue #61 August 2016

Editor’s Note

Readers: Welcome to Plume Issue # 61 –   August: and as threatened, another anecdote from my miscreant youth – though not what I originally intended. Much shorter, you’ll be happy to learn. What follows is a result not of

Featured Selection: Jean Valen…

By way of introduction to this month’s Featured Selection of new poems by Jean Valentine we offer an extensive interview with our own Associate Editor for Special Projects, the estimable Nancy Mitchell, followed by the work itself and some more detailed biographical

Two Poems

MOMMY HARANGUES POOR RANDAL   Money is self-comprehending, take a hard look in the mirror,   your brow is brutal, your teeth are for meat, your eyes are globes and hunched beneath them is my ghost who blinks them shut,


Such as the sun might present—out of sight—   I need to see the Unseen Face again the one I can imagine, piece by piece. I’m talking about divinity, of course.   I need to enter where I’ve never been.


“Our minds confer body even on nothingness.”   Between Life and Dark                                        —Eugenio Montale       The bedside window is

Two Poems

Those little plastic number puzzles   given out at grade school parties:   slide this tile over here, and—   eventually you’d have made a clearing. A way to move through the world.   Each ridged edge hooked under the

Yard Art in Georgia

Their presence was sudden. A two-lane highway—— And there they were, Life-size wood Cutouts of people. Or cardboard?   Faces and clothes Painted on. A woman Wearing a frown, a man In overalls, children, A dog or two, A cat

Suburban Landscape, Summer

Me, young and girlish, flesh not yet mourning. A brittle twist and up blooms my yearning.   Turn me now, wrench my back, I’ll pop a dream of candied purring. The neighbor men bear   down on the mowers’ fragile

Mantra Post- Storm Desmond

After thirty-six hours indoors while Desmond Raged, we break out into the flooded country To walk wherever walking is possible. On heights Above Crookhaven, the broken muddy road slides Down to the sea and waves and rock make networks Of


Having just arrived, we are walked down a moonless boardwalk cutting through seagrape and orchids and whatever wasn’t lost to hurricane or frost is dark now and trembling in the cool night air, then   down to a beach that

Jean Follain from Canisy, tran…

Jean Follain from Canisy, translated by Louise Guiney   Whenever we lined up to march into class, the assistant at my grandfather’s school always had us sing the kind of civic-minded song in which words like peace, justice, and blood

The Transit Hall on Pier 86

They say there’s a place in the brain for faces and I believe it, this headache a claw into raw nerves, the strain of testing so many men’s faces for my one “Father”   as the boat empties and the


My windowsill’s lined with fossils, whorled limestone remnants of ancient seas, lost bodies now limestone.   I’ve planted turmeric and borage, mustard and margiolds. Where do I pray my name takes root in time? Stone.   The beauty of rocks

Grade School Cafeteria

When it has been raining a lot certain corridors smell like the grade school cafeteria. For the first few grades I was terrified of the food and pushed it together so the cooks wouldn’t feel bad. Then I was in

Book Review: Mahtem Shiferraw

In this month’s installment, reviews editor Adam Tavel examines a vibrant collection about exile, place, and belonging.           Fuchsia by Mahtem Shiferraw University of Nebraska Press $15.95, 108 pages published March 2016   “In the Lion’s